The Word Exchange

The Word Exchange

Alena Graedon / Sep 23, 2019

The Word Exchange A fiendishly clever dystopian novel for the digital age The Word Exchange is a fresh stylized and decidedly original debut about the dangers of technology and the power of the printed word In the no

  • Title: The Word Exchange
  • Author: Alena Graedon
  • ISBN: 9781780225623
  • Page: 319
  • Format: Paperback
  • A fiendishly clever dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange is a fresh, stylized and decidedly original debut about the dangers of technology and the power of the printed word.In the not so distant future, the forecasted death of print has become a reality Bookstores, libraries, newspapers and magazines are a thing of the past, as we spend our time gluedA fiendishly clever dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange is a fresh, stylized and decidedly original debut about the dangers of technology and the power of the printed word.In the not so distant future, the forecasted death of print has become a reality Bookstores, libraries, newspapers and magazines are a thing of the past, as we spend our time glued to handheld devices called Memes that not only keep us in constant communication, but have become so intuitive as to hail us cabs before we leave our offices, order take out at the first growl of a hungry stomach, and even create and sell language itself in a marketplace called The Word Exchange.Anana Johnson works with her father Doug at the North American Dictionary of the English Language NADEL , where Doug is hard at work on the final edition that will ever be printed Doug is a staunchly anti Meme, anti tech intellectual who fondly remembers the days when people used email everything now is text or video conference to communicate or even actually spoke to one another for that matter One evening, Doug disappears from the NADEL offices leaving a single written clue ALICE It s a code word he and Anana devised to signal if one of them ever fell into harm s way And thus begins Anana s journey down the proverbial rabbit hole.Joined by Bart, her bookish NADEL colleague who is secretly in love with her , Anana s search for Doug will take her into dark basement incinerator rooms, underground passages of the Mercantile Library, secret meetings of the anonymous Diachronic Society, the boardrooms of the evil online retailing site Synchronic, and ultimately to the hallowed halls of the Oxford English Dictionary the spiritual home of the written word As Ana pieces together what is going on, and Bart gets sicker and sicker with the strange Word flu that has spread worldwide causing people to speak in gibberish, Alena Graedon crafts a fresh, cautionary tale that is at once a technological thriller, and a thoughtful meditation on the price of technology and the unforeseen, though very real, dangers of the digital age.

    The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon Community Reviews The Word Exchange is set in a very near future where everyone uses electronic devices called Memes for lots of everyday tasks, like the way people use Smartphones now, only kicked up a few notches Meme use is so prevalent that people commonly pay a The Word Exchange The Word Exchange The Word Exchange is a science fiction novel by Alena Graedon, published in It is a dystopian thriller set in the not very distant future when the printed word has nearly vanished, technology dominates, and language has become a commodity An online Word Exchange has taken the effort out of looking up words, The Word Exchange Ministries THE WORD EXCHANGE MINISTRIES OUR VISION Our mission is to assist in the process of discovering who you are in Christ Not by man standards but by the standards and Covenant that God has set forth before us Acknowledging that there is a Covenant that we need to tap into in order to walk in the blessings of the Lord. The Word Exchange Aphasia Friendly Canada The Word Exchange What is The Word Exchange The Life Participation Approach To Aphasia LPAA is a model that focuses on achieving the long term goals of people with aphasia and others affected by it with a crucial emphasis on re engagement in life. The Word Exchange Summary Guide litlovers The Word Exchange Alena Graedon, Knopf Doubleday pp ISBN Summary A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon Penguin Random House The Word Exchange is an unforgettable joyride across the thin ice of language Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia and Vampires in the Lemon Grove Combines the jaunty energy of youngish adult fiction with the spine tingling chill of the science fiction conspiracy genre Exchange Synonyms, Exchange Antonyms Thesaurus Exchange typewriters with me so I can have the same machine Piece for piece, I will exchange, as I offered, he announced Oh, foolish woman, if you do, you only exchange your woes for worse ones. The Word Exchange W W Norton Company Anglo Saxon Poems in Translation Presented in an authoritative bilingual edition, The Word Exchange is as fascinating and multivocal as the original literature it translates. What is another word for exchange WordHippo What is another word for exchange Need synonyms for exchange Here s a list of words from our thesaurus that you can use instead Noun A giving or taking of one thing of value in return for another trade barter interchange truck swap swapping trade off traffic dealing reciprocity switch trafficking back and forth commutation. Exchange Definition of Exchange at Dictionary Show More noun the act, process, or an instance of exchanging The contesting nations arranged for an exchange of prisoners money in exchange for services something that is given or received in exchange or substitution for something else The car was a fair exchange.

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    About "Alena Graedon"

      • Alena Graedon

        Alena Graedon was born in Durham, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Carolina Friends School, Brown University and Columbia University s School of the Arts She has worked at Columbia, Knopf, and the PEN American Centre.The Word Exchange, her first novel, was completed with the help of fellowships at several artist colonies, including MacDowell, Ucross and Yaddo.Translated into eight languages, it was a New York Times Editors Choice selection and a Kirkus Best Fiction Book of 2014.Her non fiction has been published in The New York Times Book Review, The Believer magazine and elsewhere She lives in Brooklyn, New York.


    1. When her father disappears just days before his life's work, the third edition of the North American Dictionary of the English Language, is set to debut, she has no idea of the rabbit hole she'll soon be going down. People are forgetting common words and coming down with what is called the word flu. Is there a connection between the word flu and her missing father?I got this from Netgalley. My initial impression was that the book was overwritten by someone who was into literary fiction and "slum [...]

    2. Corporate conspiracies? Word flu?Budding romance between two star-crossed lovers?Reading as a solution to impaired communication skills?Occasionally astonishing writing?Sounds tempting, right? Unfortunately, it was implemented with portentous statements every other page(1), a heroine bordering on TSTL(2), thesaurus-based writing(3), footnotes(4), and frequently poor writing(5).SynopsisAna is an employee at the New York office of North American Dictionary of the English Language (also called "the [...]

    3. ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆No spoilers! Definitely colorful language abound! I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.I was not expecting this.The Word Exchange has challenged everything I know about what defines a good book, beaten the absolute shit out of my standards, and spit them back out at me. I stand before you a little befuddled and completely in awe of Graedon's ability to redefine something about myself I once thought of as unyielding. There are few books that I can confidently coin a [...]

    4. It's only words, but where would we be without them?  Words are disappearing.  From language, from the pages of dictionaries, and from books in general.  The shorthand text-speak so many use now, the ubiquitous acronyms - are they a harbinger of things to come?           Much as I dislike giving up on a book, I am opting out of this one and sending it back to the library, unfinished.  Although the concept sounded like a slam dunk, it was fast turning into a job of work to read it.  No [...]

    5. 4.5 starsAs much as I enjoyed last year's Dave Eggers' cautionary tale The Circle, about a Google-like company smothering all of our personal freedoms, I couldn't help but think that Eggers could've went a little further in the future and turned it into a truly dystopian masterpiece instead of the gonzo-journalism-disguised-as-a-novel it turned out being.Enter The Circle's evil, precocious younger sister, Alena Graedon's rather stunning debut The Word Exchange, a novel that isn't afraid to make [...]

    6. 2.5 STARSWords don’t always work. Sometimes they come up short. Conversations can lead to conflict. There are failures of diplomacy. Some differences, for all the talk in the world, remain irreconcilable. People make empty promises, go back on their word, say things they don’t believe. But connection, with ourselves and others, is the only way we can live.I’m half tempted to recommend this to all my friends right now. Just to see how far they would get before calling it quits. Word Exchang [...]

    7. let's get the misconceptions out of the way: this is not an alt reality book, this is a dystopian book. it is narrated in alternating chapters by two characters, both in the first person. this does not make things confusing. it is not a difficult book and the vocabulary is rich but perfectly comprehensible. it is beautifully written (having listened to the audio version i can't vouch for the punctuation, but what i heard was beautiful: beautiful sentences, beautiful words). one of the characters [...]

    8. A million stars. So much to say about this book. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Originally posted here: The Steadfast Reader - Fabulous Friday: The Word ExchangeGuys, GUYS! If you read one new frontlist book this spring let this be it.Graedon does magical things with words. This book is both beautiful and terrifying all at once. I can hardly believe that this is a debut novel. For a very serious bibliophile and someone with a casual intere [...]

    9. Worthy But Flawed First Novel by a Young Writer I liked this more than I thought I would.At first I thought it was too, too trendy and clever. But, gradually, the story drew me in and I ended up enjoying the book.The main character is Anana (variously nicknamed "Ana" and "Alice"). She is a young woman who lives in NY City in the near future and works for her father, Douglas Samuel Johnson, at the NADEL ("North American Dictionary of the English Language"). Everyone at NADEL (including Ana) calls [...]

    10. On Twitter I described this book as a mashup between a David Mamet movie and the Dictionary. It's not a perfect description, but it gives you a glimpse of the weirdly wonderful world of THE WORD EXCHANGE.First off, I have to applaud Graedon for inventing one of those near-future scenarios that actually feels real and terrifyingly possible. The evolution of smartphones to the "memes" of her book seems like something that could really happen (and it honestly wouldn't surprise me if it did). Then t [...]

    11. *My copy was received from NetGalley as an ARC.* I can only review the first 30% of the book. It became so mind-numbingly boring that I had to abandon it at that point. A description of the book says: "A gorgeous genre mashup that offers readers the pleasures of noir, science fiction, romance and philosophy. It's an unforgettable joyride across the thin ice of language."-Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove.Genre mashup, yesgorgeous, no; the ice of this language [...]

    12. The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon is a book that I have very mixed feelings about.Let us start by imagining a world where our cell phones anticipate what we need before we need it. We begin to wonder what our grandparent’s birthday is and it springs to life with the information we need. All it required was a thought. That word on the tip of our tongue appears on the screen just before we need it so you can complete your thought without missing a beat. If you can imagine that, then you can ima [...]

    13. ARC for review.A thriller of lexicography that will appeal to language lovers this book follows Ana, a young woman in search of her father. He disappeared under mysterious circumstances just before the launch of the final edition of his world-renowned dictionary (a victim of our digital age which, in this book, is a few steps further along the interactive road). Plus, a potentially fatal "word flu" has appeared and maybe Ana's missing father holds the key? At first I thought this would be an exa [...]

    14. A very good, quirky story. A bit crazy at times, but that was the fun. And I still don't think I got all the "Alice" references - the rabbit hole, the looking glass, that type of thing.This is a world that diverged from our own not that long ago. It diverged when this world created smartphones that can read your mind. They are called Memes. They will order you a cab if you're too drunk to drive. They will order you a drink when you're really explaining you want coffee (but really want a drink), [...]

    15. I received a free copy of this book through the First Reads program at Good Reads. I also was given an eARC by NetGalley.While I appreciate these freebies, I shouldn't have clicked those buttons to put myself in the running for them. I started this book tonight, and was quickly going, "eh.?"It's justEarlier this year I read a book called The Book. It was a dystopian near-future tale about electronic reading devices replacing real books and eventually controlling what we think, etc. I don't want [...]

    16. Here's how this book goes:Pages of Pretentious BlatheringHegelHegelHegelHegelHegelHegelHegelPages of Hipster AngstTeeniest Tiniest Hint of a PlotMore Pretentious BlatheringMore Hipster AngstGreat Huge Chunks of HegelMore HegelImagined AngstUnimportant Hipster Stuff (meals, music, whatever)Hegel AgainOh Wow! A plot point!Hegel. Hegel. Hegel.Hipster Musings.Hipster Thoughts on Hegel.Hegel's Thoughts on Hipstery Things.Wait! Is this a plot point?? No. Never mind. It's just blob of Hipster Ennui.At [...]

    17. I found that it had a lot of great writing, but it was covered up with awkward writing. The world building lacked, but I liked were it was going, I just needed more from it. I couldn’t get pass the footnotes and I didn’t know a lot of the words so I had to keep looking them up, which takes a lot of time ( that I could have used to try and enjoy the novel). I also think that it was over all too long and I just could get into it.

    18. I received a copy of The Word Exchange, the debut novel from author Alena Graedon, from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my review. This book has been called "the dystopian novel for the digital age" and "inventive" and on some levels I agree with those descriptions. I loved the idea of The Word Exchange, which is set in the near future and deals with the constantly forewarned death of print media. Anana Johnson and her father Doug are working on the multi-volume third edition of [...]

    19. I have to preface this review by saying that a) if I get a book to read before publication (through NetGalley, like this one, or anywhere) I want to give it a real chance, finish the whole thing, etc. and b) the idea behind this book is one I’m thrilled about. With this book, I found it tremendously difficult to even finish. The Word Exchange has a fascinating premise. Ana lives in a world where helpful technology has infiltrated our lives, our psyches, and our choices so fully that it is star [...]

    20. The Word Exchange is about a future in which the printed media is practically obsolete. Everyone communicates by a device called a meme, which is not really explained until about a third of the way through the book. In this world, people was being affected by something called a "word flu" in which the inflicted loses the meaning of words, automatically substituting nonsense words. The incubation time needed for this flu to arrive seems be the duration of 50% of the book. Eventually this virus le [...]

    21. I was so excited about this book. I love words and books and technology. "A dystopian novel for the digital age, The Word Exchange offers an inventive, suspenseful, and decidedly original vision of the dangers of technology and of the enduring power of the printed word. "The premise is that printed words are obsolete. A virus finds it's way into the smart-phone like devices people are using in the future. It causes people to start using wrong words and then transforms into a sickness that actual [...]

    22. This is one of those novels where the author is just too clever for their own good. It's a mess of ideas, with a whiny heroine and a creepy alternating narrator.I almost never give one stars, but dude. I have no idea how this book was even purchased by Doubleday and made it to print.

    23. I loved this book so much, I’m not sure I can add anything new to the many rave reviews I’ve already read. Everything about it was fantastic. The plot was action packed and full of surprising twists and turns. The futuristic world the author imagined didn’t seem like a stretch, but was still completely mind-blowing. Despite the dangers of the technologies so readily adopted in this future world, some of the conveniences and entertainments sound like a dream. The author’s imaginings actua [...]

    24. 4.5 STARS!!!Xet this meting book! I wot believe I emkl word flu!!Wow! This book is one that will really leave you thinking!! Not to mention, it’ll make you wish you were holding a “real” book and not your kindle or nook. This book can be downright frightening because you can so easily visualize something like this happening! Got word flu???This book was just so incredibly interesting! It’s not one of those books that just sucks you right in and never let’s go, but it’s more of a grad [...]

    25. I wanted to like this. I really did. For short bursts of time, it even engaged me. But then the idiotic heroine did something particularly idiotic that she had done before which proved its idiocy, but will she learn? It's kind of hard to get on board a really long, rather pointless adventure if this lady will behave like the dystopian equivalent of the horror movie dumb blonde who just couldn't leave whatever well enough alone. Had she been, like her horror movie equivalent, killed right after h [...]

    26. Unfortunately that's it, I can't go on. While at moments this book is brilliant with an underlying idea that could make it the next big thing, those moments are overshadowing by a lack of forward motion. After 44 pages of information dump and back story, I couldn't go on. Too many years of working in the industry and having it drilled into my head not to do these things, made this book too hard to read. Clearly I am not the intended audience. Did not finish so no rating.

    27. An Exchange Best Ignored - A Pale Reflection of Gibson and ShteyngartFor those who think speculative fiction can be written well by those who have degrees from notable MFA writing programs and have secured grants to write at notable literary retreats like Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, but lack some familiarity with speculative fiction, fellow Brunonian Alena Graedon’s “The Word Exchange” will be hailed as a great instant literary classic, a brilliant exploration of the power of words and [...]

    28. Ich mache es kurz. Die ist das grandioseste Buch, was ich seit langem gelesen habe. Wer "Den Circle" von Dave Eggers mochte, wird hier soviel mehr finden. "Das letzte Wort" stellt ihn locker in den Schatten und das nicht nur rhetorisch. Falls man glaubte, die Welt des Circles könnte einen in 10 Jahren einholen, der wird hier mit Schrecken feststellen, dass es die Technologie in diesem Buch bereits gibt. Es wird von einem Gerät geredet, das Mem heißt. Mich hat es erschreckend an diese ganzen E [...]

    29. This is a premise in search of a plot, but it's a good enough premise to warrant a read. The constant, explicit foreshadowing was extremely annoying (e.g. "'[] things are likely to get worse before they get better–if they get better.' How prophetic those words have come to seem." p. 208), as were the aphasic passages by Bart. Yes, it made me feel how disconcerting it would be to talk with someone suffering from aphasia, but it also made me feel like one chapter of such gibberish would have con [...]

    30. This book was strangely compelling, strangely thrilling, strangely fast-paced, strangely terrifying, and strangely not at all absurd. Despite its basic premise---what happens when technology goes terribly wrong!---it read less like the fearmongering of a paranoid luddite and more like a really innovative homage to language, communication, and scholarship with a near apocalypse and worldwide conspiracy thrown in for good measure.The time is the near future. The meme (basically the iPhone) is tran [...]

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